For children of the 1980s, a Georgia mom-to-be is bringing back a sentimental childhood memory with a little crochet and creativity.
Amanda Lillie, of Dawsonville, Ga., is the creator of custom-made, crocheted hats inspired by the dimpled Cabbage Patch Kid dolls famous for their distinct locks.
Lillie, 33, started selling the $30 to $40 hats on her Etsy store last fall after seeing something similar on Pinterest and becoming inspired to create something that matched the dolls of her youth even more closely.
“I thought it was the most adorable thing but, to me, it didn’t look like a Cabbage Patch hat from what I remembered as growing up with the dolls,” Lillie told ABCNews.com. “Just for fun I wondered if I could make one that looked more similar that someone could actually wear.
“What you see now is what I came up with,” she said, noting it took her about two months to perfect the look.
Since then, Lillie has sold about three dozen of the hats, each of which takes her around two hours and one ball of yarn to complete.
In a full circle to Lillie’s story, after someone pinned one of her Cabbage Patch Kids hats to Pinterest earlier this month, Lillie became a viral hit and the demand for her hats exploded.
“I’m having a hard time keeping up with how many I’ve sold,” Lillie said of the reaction. “I am reworking my Etsy shop and bringing in help to meet the demand.”
The social media attention has also caught the eye of the makers of Cabbage Patch Kids, whose “Babyland Hospital” headquarters is located just 30 minutes from where Lillie now lives.
“We’re getting comments on how much people are enjoying them and they’re starting to share the pictures with us,” said Margaret McLean, director of corporate communications for Cabbage Patch Kids. “We’re very excited that people are thinking about their Cabbage Patch Kids again and sharing them with their kids.”
“It’s been kind of amazing to see,” she said.
Lillie believes the same thing that inspired her to create the hats – sentimental memories – is what inspires her customers to spend $40 of their money on a Cabbage Patch Kids hat, even though the dolls themselves, 125 million of which have been sold since they were first introduced 30 years ago, cost as little as $20.
“Customers tell me they just love them and love to share them with the next generation,” she said. “They’re just fun. I just made them on a whim, not for anything in particular and they just seemed to end up being so much fun.”
Lillie – who donates 10 percent of her Etsy proceeds to Open Hand Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides micro-loans to women in Haiti – also sells patterns for the hats for $6 on Etsy so that Cabbage Patch Kids-loving crocheters can create their own hats.
“One customer started making them for the local children’s hospital for kids with cancer,” she said. “Others say they work with kids in day care and they’re fun for that.”
As for how Lillie herself uses the Cabbage Patch-inspired hats, she says there is no doubt her future daughter, due in late September, will be donning one.
“Yes, she will absolutely be a life-size cabbage patch doll for Halloween this year,” Lillie said.